Bike Trails Through Two Hydro Corridors and Leaside Rail Corridor

Update: see previous posts – August 11, 2011 Bicycle Safety Called for by Ontario Medical Association, August 9, 2011 Police/T.T.C Target Drivers/Pedestrians/Cyclists at T.T.C Stops from Aug.8 – 14, 2011, August 5, 2011 Results of Bicycle/Pedestrian Blitz on August 3 & 4, 2011, August 2, 2011 – Bicycle/Driver/Pedestrian Blitz on Danforth Ave from Victoria Park to Broadview Ave on August 3 & 4/11, July 30, 2011 Pedestrian Injured by Cyclist Calls for Regulated Cycling in Toronto, July 28, 2011 Bicycle Helmets Lead to Fewer Head Injuries for Cyclist’s Who Wear Them, July 17, 2011 Cyclists Ignore the Signs at Kew Gardens, July 13, 2011 Toronto Bicycle Lanes Eliminated, July 9, 2011 Cyclists Continue Riding the Wrong Way on a One-Way Street (Huron Street), July 8, 2011 Toronto Police to Ticket Cyclists and Motor Vehicles Ignoring Cyclist’s Space, July 7, 2011 Careless Driving Causing Death?, May 4, 2011 Police Charge Parent of Young Cyclist Not Wearing His Bicycle Helmet, May 2, 2011 Cyclist on Powered-Assisted Bicycle Charged with Not Wearing a Helmet and Impaired Driving, March 9, 2011 Cyclist Launches 20 Million Lawsuit against Cycling Club & Association, January 27, 2011 Time to Update the Cycling Laws in Toronto & Ontario?, January 8, 2011 Toronto is Ready to Invest in the Safety of Cyclists,December 22, 2010   Toronto’s First Count of Downtown Cyclists (Sept. 2010) , November 8, 2010 Week Long Pedestrian Safety Campaign/Blitz, October 10, 2010 Bike Boxes , September 16, 2010 Private Member’s Bill requires a minimum of one metre paved shoulder be added whenever designated provincial highways are repaved to reduce accidents/fatalities , August 26, 2010 Police Lay 400 Charges Against Cyclists/Pedestrians , May 19, 2010 Motorists Must Stay 3,4 or 5 Feet Away from Bicyclists , March 29, 2010 Toronto’s Zero-Tolerance Bicycle Blitz , November 16, 2009 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians – Toronto (2008) , October 12, 2009 Idaho Stop Law , September 7, 2009 Toronto Police Bicycle Safety Blitz , March 21, 2009,  Bicycle Accidents Toronto, Reported in 2008 , December 20, 2008 City of Toronto Considering Installing “Rumble Strips”

see source 

By the end of the month, the city will open 34.2 kilometres of new off-road bicycle trails, the result of federal and provincial infrastructure money that had to be spent by the end of the year. The $23 million project was funded in part by the city, which put in $10 million.

The trails run through parts of the Finch hydro corridor across the top of the city, the Gatineau hydro corridor in Scarborough and the Leaside rail corridor.

It’s a 20 per cent increase in the city’s off-road trails. And it means a cyclist could bike off-road all the way from downtown to the Toronto Zoo.

Well, almost.

Because the infrastructure money had to be spent quickly, the city installed the trails where it was easiest and not all of them connect.

“Everyone thinks, understandably, that putting three-and-a-half-metre-wide asphalt within a wide corridor wouldn’t be a major challenge, but with all the utilities, the archaeological issues and the major (road) crossings, there have been some real challenges,” says John Mende, the city’s director of transportation infrastructure management. “But we’ve managed to address them all,” he says.

Mende expects the city to build more off-road trails in the future.

After the debate over the Jarvis St. bike lanes and the removal of lanes on Pharmacy and Birchmount, Mende says “there is a reshifting of priorities.”

“We’ll focus more on our trails projects, which is essentially our priority right now.”

Off-road trails were also a priority for Mayor Rob Ford, who promised during last year’s election campaign to spend $50 million building 100 kilometres. But only $8 million is in the 2012 budget for the city’s bike infrastructure program.

For the latest trails, construction workers had to deal with pipelines and fiber optic cables that weren’t identified on any plans.

Thirteen signals were installed where the trails crossed busy streets, because tunnels or bridges would have been costly and triggered time-consuming environmental assessments.

And in the western portion of the Finch trail, staff worked with representatives of the Huron-Wendat First Nations to find a way to recognize the Parson’s archaeological site, a former village dating back to the latter part of the 1500s. In commemoration, the section of the trail between Jane and Keele Sts. has been signed as the “Huron-Wendat Trail”.

Mendes says his department will report on future plans to the works committee in November.

Considerations include bridging the gaps in the Finch hydro corridor and building a trail along the Scarborough waterfront.

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